Making a Better Apology

Saying “I’m sorry” can be trickier than it may seem. No matter how good our relationships are, having conflict and sometimes hurting people is unavoidable. Making an apology is essential for maintaining the quality of relationships. Unfortunately, we have all experienced bad apologies – given them, received them, or even witnessed them in situations that…

Easing Back into the School Year

Although it may feel hard to believe, summer has drawn to a close and the new school year is officially in full swing. This transition can be a difficult time for all families, especially as the excitement of the new school year begins to wear off and kids shift into the daily “grind” of the…

Lessons for Today from Mister Rogers

(This entry is adapted from an article by Shea Tuttle published by the Greater Good Science Center) I remember Mister Rogers vividly from my childhood – eating lunch on TV trays sitting on the floor of our living room with a friend, seeing the puppets and listening to the songs. At the time, of course,…

Strategies for Building Empathy in Kids

Empathy represents a complex, often misunderstood, and sometimes taken-for-granted set of skills that help us to navigate our social and emotional world. It includes not just feeling concern for others who are in distress, but also our ability to “see” things from another’s perspective as well as to imagine how someone else might be feeling.…

Is It Helpful or Harmful to Reward Kids for Good Behavior?

How can I raise my child to be a person who behaves responsibly, kindly, and generously? This question has led to seemingly endless discussions, disagreements, and disputes among parents, and among experts. One of the central points of disagreement has been whether to use rewards: are the short-term gains in good behavior real, or are…

Playing to Build Social Skills in Young Children

Even for toddlers and preschool children, friendships are key. Research suggests that early social development and peer relationships are critical for later academic success, social adjustment, and the ability to handle challenges and adversity. Friendships in early childhood also provide opportunities for children to develop the skills that they will need for social interactions in…

Depression in Teen Girls Much More Prevalent than Previously Believed

It is no secret that depression is an issue facing many teens, particularly teen girls.  But a large new study published in May has provided some alarming data suggesting that depression among teen girls is much more common than we previously thought.  The study found that by the age of 17, 13.6 percent of boys…

What We Can Do About Cyberbullying

As a therapist, I frequently hear my child and adolescent clients talk about cyberbullying and the effect it has on their lives. In a survey conducted last year, 33 percent of middle and high school students reported that they have been cyberbullied, and 17 percent of students reported that they had been cyberbullied within the…